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Borough council to review details of boat ramp area

During the Feb. 1 Northampton Borough Council meeting, President Judy Kutzler said council needs to examine a request from a local professional fishing guide. At the Jan. 18 meeting, Joshua Zellers, guide and boat fishing advocate, requested council consider reopening the closed boat ramp just south of the Canal Street Park.

Zellers noted the borough has lost an activity that is shared by many due to the closure of the boat ramp. He said the area from Northampton to 15 miles down the Lehigh River is an excellent strip for guide fishing and general public boat fishing.

According to Kutzler, the boat ramp was closed by a previous council because of numerous problems that occurred there and the small park by the ramp. During the past few years, the borough has reportedly been plagued with sporadic vandalism at its park system.

Councilwoman Bonnie Almond asked if the administration was looking into Zellers’ request. Northampton Mayor Anthony Pristash said he was planning to meet with Zellers within the week to review the situation.

Kutzler closed the discussion saying she is not against fishing, but simply wants council to closely examine all potential issues before making a decision about the ramp reopening.

In other business, council passed resolution 4-24 that established nonresident daily fees at the recreation center at $20 per day for every day of the week. Also, the Greater Northampton Area Chamber of Commerce requested and received council permission to hold the annual Northampton Uptown Street Fair Sept. 14.

Ronald Spengler was council appointed to the borough’s vacancy board for a two-year term to expire Dec. 31, 2025. Spengler reportedly has served on the vacancy board for many years.

A request to plant a tree for the untimely death of a 15-year-old boy was council approved. Along with a tree, the requester asked for a memorial plaque to be installed to honor the young man. The borough’s building, land and recreation committee is to determine the location and type of tree for planting.

The Northampton Kids Swim Club requested and received council permission to use the borough’s municipal pool beginning in early June ending the week of July 15. They are planning to use the pool 8-10 a.m. twice a week. The group offered to donate $250 for the use of the pool.

Council approved the return of Michael Adams to his former position as a certified operator trainee at the borough’s wastewater treatment plant. Adams left the department months ago to embark on a different career path.

In his administration and finance committee report, Councilman Kenneth Hall said the manager of Allen Township reported the bridge closure at West Bullshead Road began Feb. 5 and will remain closed until approximately March 7.

Councilwoman Judy Haldeman, in her building, land, and recreation committee report, said appointments began Jan. 29 for 2023 tax preparation at Northampton Recreation Center, 1 Lerchenmiller Drive.

To make an appointment, call the center at 610-502-2990 or stop by to set up an appointment.

In his public works and sewer report, council Vice President Ronald Glassic noted interviews are scheduled to hire three employees to the borough’s public works department.

Pristash commented he is following the challenges a neighboring community is having with its police department, particularly with necessary overtime. Pristash thanked Northampton Police Chief Bryan Kadingo for his leadership and all the officers for keeping camaraderie high and overtime needs low.

Additionally, Pristash said he and the chief are planning a National Night Out Against Crime celebration in August. Pristash also noted Keystone Harley Davidson in Whitehall donated an eBicycle to the police department bike patrol. The new eBicycle reportedly moves much faster than a standard bicycle. The mayor publicly thanked Keystone Harley Davidson for the donation.

The next borough council meeting is set for 7 p.m. Feb. 15 in the municipal building, 1401 Laubach Ave. It is a hybrid meeting, with both in-person and virtual options. Visit northamptonboro.com for information to access meeting virtually.